Blenheim Palace visit

Since the snow left a week or so into April, we’ve been having generally warm and sunny weather.  A few April showers but that’s to be expected.  But it does meant that we’ve been able to get out and about at weekends even if it is only on the farm or going out for some shopping and a wander round town.

Saturdays are usually a bit manic at the moment as mornings are all about getting household necessities done (note to self, really need to start getting organised and back to internet food shopping), before lunch, nap and swimming.  It doesn’t leave any time for anything else in the day.  So Sundays tends to be the day we can now get out and about.

Last year I won an annual family pass to Blenheim Palace which we’ve only used once, but as the weather was looking good, I decided to take N there for a run around on the adventure playground.  He had a birthday party to go to in the afternoon, so I knew we’d only have an hour there before he had to have lunch and his nap to ensure he was on form for the party.  Really we need to make sure we’ve got longer to stay to make the most of it, as a picnic and a bit more of a leisurely stroll/time to go on the train should be essential for toddler play at Blenheim.  Thankfully the train wasn’t at the relevant station when we were leaving, so I didn’t have to drag N off kicking and screaming.

N spent some time watching the water fountain, playing on the smaller playground climbing frames and slide (alongside some extremely well spoken parents with their poshly named children), before we walked round to the adventure playground.  I didn’t take the pushchair and he didn’t want carrying at all – very different to when we’re in town if we don’t take it, where he always moans and wants to be carried – obviously makes a difference when it’s fun ambling.

Getting started in the playground

He loved the adventure playground even more than last year.   He had a bit of time to be king of the climbing frames before other children arrived so made the most of it.  After only one time on it with me following, he was totally at home climbing, running and going down the slides.  This is the first time I’ve seen him be really confident on slides, and these were higher than I’ve seen him on before.  There was me rushing off the climbing frame and over to the bottom of the slide to catch him, to find he was already at the bottom with a huge grin on his face.  I think it helped that these slides have a much longer end bit, instead of some which send the child down so fast, they shoot off the end.

Wobbly bridge
Wobbly bridge
Posing and falling over
Posing and falling over

He only wanted to go on the big frame (they also have an under 7s area with sand pit and small frame, but that one didn’t even get a look in), but was happy to be taken off for a drink and snack.  Before we left, he noticed the lavender garden so dragged me in there (not that there was much lavender going on at this time of year), so we popped into the butterfly sauna house.  He loved pointing out the butterflies, but preferred watching the ‘waterfalls’ into the goldfish pond.  I just about managed to usher him out past the children’s shop full of very alluring swords and shields, and we headed off home.

Marlborough sundial
Shadow play and the Marlborough sundial

It was a lovely morning out, although I think I suffered from too much warmth and sun.  It seems being in an office all week needs a bit of a lead in to having lots of time outside.   N gets a lot more outdoor play at nursery as if the weather’s nice they tend to just open up the patio doors and let the children have freeflow play.  I bet he never wants to be inside when that happens!

Hopefully we’ll get to visit for longer as the weather gets nicer and maybe organise some days out there with friends as well.  So much more fun for the kids to play together and then we adults get a chance to chat for a bit.

Check out these other ideas for days out with kids in Oxfordshire.

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  1. It’s great that you won a pass to go there, it sounds lovely. I didn’t know it had a playground as haven’t been there since having children. Thanks for linking to Mums do travel.

    1. Having the playground and surrounding area for children means you don’t have to pay house prices, just for the gardens so money’s not wasted with kids not going in the house.

  2. That makes me laugh about the pushchair. All kids are the same, endless energy for having fun then tired legs at the prospect of something ‘boring’. Looks like this definitely hit the fun button for some family fresh air time. Thanks for linking up to Country Kids.

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